Search results for: baxter

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Manufacturing Robot Baxter Doesn’t Want To Replace Human Workers

BaxterRethink Robotics, founded by former MIT faculty and CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) director Rodney Brooks, who also invented the Roomba, has developed a robot named Baxter designed to perform various manufacturing duties. Baxter, the first two-armed robot designed for such tasks, may be in the process of revolutionizing the way humans use robots in manufacturing, largely because Rethink Robotics doesn’t intend for Baxter to replace human workers.

Baxter went on the market a year ago and costs $25,000 a pop. That might sound like a lot, but some of the tasks he performs require a number of human employees, and some of those tasks are pretty awful — they involve enough dust and dirt that human workers would have to wear masks, and the jobs are also pretty darn boring. Baxter also can work for long stretches — I’m talking 2,000 hours straight, which is about three months of labor. That’s definitely cheaper than hiring humans to do the same amount of work, which is a plus for the companies that invest in Baxter, though not necessarily for the workers, no matter how dirty and dull the work might be.

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Comic(s) Relief: Warren Ellis’ Injection Explores A World Gone Weird

Injection1With a resume that includes stellar titles like Transmetropolitan, Planetary, and Global Frequency, writer Warren Ellis excels at creating two of our favorite things: comics and science fiction. He’s got a knack for blending bleeding-edge scientific concepts with unforgettable characters and a pitch-black sense of humor that guarantees I’m interested in pretty much everything he does. Now he’s shared a preview of his upcoming Image series, Injection, in his Orbital Operations newsletter. The series sees Ellis reteaming with artists Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, his partners from Marvel’s 2014 Moon Knight series. Injection is slated for an unspecified 2015 release, but in the meantime you can check out the intriguing synopsis and preview art below.

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Marvel Squares Off Against DC In Epic New Fan Trailer

With the creation of its “Cinematic Universe,” Marvel has brought to the big and small screens one of the things that’s so much fun about comic books: the interconnected nature of the various stories. Superman can pop up one week in Green Lantern. Spider-Man can swing by the Baxter Building to ask the Fantastic Four for a hand. The Avengers and upcoming Justice League movies take the “cinematic universe” concept to its next inevitable stage, but one staple of comics we probably never will see on the big screen is the cross-company team-up. But one YouTuber has taken the time to envision what such an epic event might look like, and the results are, well…super.

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Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of November 24, 2014

As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

AlienRiver“Alien: River of Pain” by Christopher Golden

When Ellen Ripley finally returns to Earth, she learns that the planet LV-426 — now called Acheron — has been colonized. But LV-426 is where Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo found the original Xenomorph — the killing machine known as the Alien.

Protected by the Colonial Marines, the colonists seek to terraform the storm-swept planet. Two such residents are Anne and Russell Jorden, seeking a fortune that eluded them on Earth. On Acheron, Anne gives birth to the colony’s first newborn. Rebecca Jordan, also known as Newt.

The wildcatters discover a vast, decaying spaceship. The horseshoe-shaped vessel is of particular interest to Weyland-Yutani, and may be the answer to their dreams. But what Anne and Russ find on board proves to be the stuff, not of dreams, but of nightmares.

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Tarkin Is Center Stage As The New Star Wars EU Expands: Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf

This week the new Star Wars Expanded Universe opens up just a little bit more with Tarkin by James Luceno. It’s the second novel in the new EU, following on the heels of the Rebels prequel A New Dawn, which released a few months back. While that book was set during the “dark times” after the massacre of the Jedi order and the ascension of Palpatine to Emperor, Tarkin is set in the days leading up to A New Hope, with the first Death Star still under construction and Tarkin one of the most powerful men in the Empire. As for Luceno, he’s no stranger to the Star Wars universe, having penned Darth Plagueis, the Dark Lord Trilogy, and more.

Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

Tarkin“Star Wars: Tarkin” by James Luceno

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Bestselling Star Wars veteran James Luceno gives Grand Moff Tarkin the Star Wars: Darth Plagueis treatment, bringing a legendary character from A New Hope to full, fascinating life.

He’s the scion of an honorable and revered family. A dedicated soldier and distinguished legislator. Loyal proponent of the Republic and trusted ally of the Jedi Order. Groomed by the ruthless politician and Sith Lord who would be Emperor, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin rises through the Imperial ranks, enforcing his authority ever more mercilessly…and zealously pursuing his destiny as the architect of absolute dominion.

Rule through the fear of force rather than force itself, he advises his Emperor. Under Tarkin’s guidance, an ultimate weapon of unparalleled destruction moves ever closer to becoming a terrifying reality. When the so-called Death Star is completed, Tarkin is confident that the galaxy’s lingering pockets of Separatist rebellion will be brought to heel — by intimidation…or annihilation.

Until then, however, insurgency remains a genuine threat. Escalating guerrilla attacks by resistance forces and newfound evidence of a growing Separatist conspiracy are an immediate danger the Empire must meet with swift and brutal action. And to bring down a band of elusive freedom fighters, the Emperor turns to his most formidable agents: Darth Vader, the fearsome new Sith enforcer as remorseless as he is mysterious; and Tarkin — whose tactical cunning and cold-blooded efficiency will pave the way for the Empire’s supremacy…and its enemies’ extinction.

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Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson Pens Her First Sci-Fi Novel

As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

VisionFire“A Vision of Fire” by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin

The first novel from iconic X-Files star Gillian Anderson and New York Times bestselling author Jeff Rovin: a science fiction thriller of epic proportions.

Renowned child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is a single mom trying to juggle her job, her son, and a lackluster dating life. Her world is suddenly upturned when Maanik, the daughter of India’s ambassador to the United Nations, starts speaking in tongues and having violent visions. Caitlin is sure that her fits have something to do with the recent assassination attempt on her father — a shooting that has escalated nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan to dangerous levels — but when teenagers around the world start having similar outbursts, Caitlin begins to think that there’s a more sinister force at work.

In Haiti, a student claws at her throat, drowning on dry land. In Iran, a boy suddenly and inexplicably sets himself on fire. Animals, too, are acting irrationally, from rats in New York City to birds in South America to ordinary house pets. With Asia on the cusp of nuclear war, Caitlin must race across the globe to uncover the mystical links among these seemingly unrelated incidents in order to save her patient — and perhaps the world.

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